Europe Space Forum

I’m Katie, Head of Business Development at Audacy. My job is to work with customers and other strategic partners to make sure Audacy is building the best communications solution to meet client needs.  Last week I was in Luxembourg, along with our CEO Ralph Ewig, attending the Europe Space Forum at the ICT Spring 2016 event. This two-day innovation summit explored the impact of space technology on mobility, the internet of things (IoT), connectivity, security, and climate.

Our objectives in attending the forum were to connect with potential European customers, build on existing customer relationships, and explore opportunities for a potential European Audacy footprint down the road. We met with success on all of these fronts and learned a great deal more during our visit.

Key Takeaways

1) The European space industry is thriving, and NewSpace growth is beginning to take off there as well. The U.S., however, is still the strong leader in NewSpace startups. The Space Forum had a strong showing of both traditional and startup space companies, but the majority of the startup representation was still from the U.S.

2) Other industries, like automotive and IoT, have identified space as an important opportunity and are beginning to integrate space companies into their value chains. With speakers like the CEO of BMW Group Belux at a space conference, it is evident that these industries are taking notice of the opportunities.

3) There is about to be A LOT more data passing through space! Planet Labs is already processing 11 terabytes of data each day. As they continue to grow and new players come online, satellite data and communication needs will be enormous.

4) Satellite manufacturing is changing…for the better. Planet Labs built 20 satellites per week in their most recent run and OneWeb is planning to build 1-2 satellites per day with their Airbus partnership. These accomplishments are quite impressive and have begun to put more pressure on traditional manufacturers to innovate and reduce build times.

5) Governments recognize the economic value of the space industry and are competing to attract new players. A conference speaker from NEREUS, the Network of European Regions Using Space Technologies, explained that the European space industry currently contributes 52 billion euros to the EU economy and represents over 320,000 European jobs. With this in mind, it is clear why the Luxembourg government is serious about growing and supporting the space industry, as we learned at the conference.